Minuteman Library Network
Minuteman Catalog Help
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General Email and Text Notices My Account Requests Searching Advanced Search Tips Mobile App

Minuteman Catalog Go to My Account MLN Home Page Contact Us

General Questions

See training videos on our YouTube channel  

The videos posted are short "sound bites" of existing catalog functionality. Each video is a small segment on a specific feature of the catalog.

Recent videos:

How do I sign-up for a Minuteman library card?

You can register for a library card in person or a temporary one online.

In person:

Visit any one of the 61 Minuteman libraries and branch libraries. Be sure to bring a photo identification and proof of address. If you live, work, or go to school in MA but your home library is outside the Minuteman network, you can still sign-up for a Minuteman card or have your existing library card added to Minuteman's user database.

You will be issued a card with borrowing privileges at all Minuteman member libraries, as well access to our shared digital catalog from OverDrive.


You can can also pre-register online for a temporary library card!

Go to https://library.minlib.net/selfreg and apply with a valid email address.

Your card number will be emailed to you. You can use the temporary card to borrow titles from the OverDrive digital catalog and place holds in the Minuteman catalog. Visit a Minuteman library in person to complete your registration and get a full Minuteman account.

What is "Minuteman"? Why does my library's website lead me to the Minuteman catalog?

Is there a Minuteman app for my mobile device?

How do I find out when libraries are open, driving directions, and other library-related information?

What is OverDrive? How do I borrow an item from OverDrive?

OverDrive is an online collection of ebooks, audiobooks, and streaming videos that you can borrow with a Minuteman library card. You can borrow and place holds for OverDrive items directly from the catalog search results as well as from Minuteman's OverDrive website, or using the Libby app on your mobile device.

Borrow or request an OverDrive item directly from your search results: checkout with overdrive button

Or click the "Econnect" link in the item details to go the OverDrive catalog: econnect

For instructions on how to download or stream your digital loan, visit OverDrive Help or Libby App Help.

What is Hoopla? How do I borrow an item from Hoopla?

Hoopla is an online collection of streaming audiobooks, music, movies, plus ebooks and comics. Not all libraries in the Minuteman Network subscribe to Hoopla. Check your library's website or ask a librarian for details.

Hoopla titles can be found in the catalog and can be accessed by clicking on the "Instantly available on hoopla" link. (You will need to create a Hoopla log-in with your library card number or username.)

Available from hoopla button

Is online search help available?

For information about using the catalog to find library materials, see the Searching FAQ.


For detailed tips on searching the catalog and limiting search results, see Advanced Search Tips.

Advanced Search Tips

I didn't find the item I was looking for in Minuteman's catalog. What should I do?

  1. Check the spelling in your search words. Our catalog software does not currently offer corrections or suggestions for misspelling.
  2. Talk with a librarian for assistance with searching. Some items may be hard to find in the catalog.
  3. To find and request items from Massachusetts libraries outside Minuteman, search the Commonwealth Catalog You can log in with your Minuteman card number and place requests as long the item is not owned by Minuteman libraries. (See "Commonwealth Catalog" link on bottom right of the catalog.)
  4. If you can't find or request an item through Minuteman libraries or the Commonwealth Catalog, ask a librarian at your home library to consider buying it for the collection or borrowing it through Interlibrary Loan (ILL).

Once I'm in the catalog, how do I return to the Minuteman homepage?

You can return to the Minuteman home page by clicking on Minuteman logo in the top banner of the search screen.

Is there a timeout period for the catalog and My Account?

The catalog times out and begins a new session after 10 minutes of inactivity. If you forgot to log out, the catalog will log you out.

Is there a mobile version of the Minuteman catalog?

Which browsers are recommended for using Minuteman websites?

Our catalog developer supports the 2 most recent versions of commonly used browsers including Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Microsoft Edge/IE. These browsers enable the best possible performance, security and user experience.

Notes & Recommendations

  • JavaScript, cookies and SSL 3.0 must be enabled for full-functionality.
  • Third-party browser plug-ins may interfere with the normal use of the catalog or MyAccount. In the event of difficulties, please try disabling any other plug-ins.

What languages can I use to view and search the catalog?

I do not want my name displayed on my holds at the library. How can I ensure my privacy?

Most libraries with an open hold shelf abbreviate your last name (family name) to the first 3-4 letters on the hold slip, but you can use an alias instead of your full name to display on the hold slips.

Please talk to staff at the circulation / access service desk at your library about setting a "pick-up alias". (A pick-up alias is different than your Username, and cannot be created in My Account).

How do I get free access to the New York Times online through Minuteman libraries?

The Minuteman Library Network provides free unlimited access to nytimes.com in all public member libraries, and 72-hour home access through our libraries' websites with a promo code.

In Library Access: Visit www.nytimes.com on any public Minuteman library computer or wireless network. Log in or create an account to access NY Times online content for free.

Home / Remote Access: Follow this link or click on the New York Times link at your library's website. Click "Redeem" and log in or create an account to use the promotional code for 72 hours of free access to NY Times online.
To extend access for another 72 hours, return to the link to redeem another code. There is no limit for code redemptions per account.

Features included in unlimited NY Times online access:

  • Unlimited access to NYTimes.com content
  • International Edition and Chinese Edition
  • Historic Coverage 1851-1922 and 1981 to Current
  • Newsletters, Alerts & Times Wire
  • Sharing & Commenting
  • Times Topics
  • Search and Cross Searching
  • Real-Time Market Data & Company Research Pages
  • Mini Crossword puzzles (Full crossword puzzle not included)

Remote Access only:

  • NYTimes Apps
  • Today's Paper: Digital edition of today's print edition
  • 5 Premium Archive (1923-1980) articles per day

What if my library doesn't have a subscription to a database in the Articles & Reviews search?

The Articles & Reviews area searches databases that are available to all Massachusetts residents. Your library subscribes to all Massachusetts state-wide databases by default.